To say that the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce (CRIC) recently came up with a unique fundraising scheme would be an understatement.
The event, which was originally scheduled for July but had to be rescheduled because of last month’s hot and humid temperatures, was billed as “Summer After Hours in Paradise” and held in the Chamber’s parking lot at 3288 Post Road in Apponaug and designed to raise revenue for restoration of the Victorian Lady, a.k.a. the CRIC’s headquarters.
Instead of wearing their usual professional garb, Chamber members and their guests arrived in different forms of beach attire. Most people wore Hawaiian shirts – with Leis they purchased at the check-in booth that was named Let the “Fin” begin and manned by Chris Allen, the Chamber’s sales and marketing director.
Meanwhile, a number of vendors, from an ice cream counter to a fun bounce house to different businesses and a hot dog and hamburger stand, set up shop in the parking lot.
In the middle of it all was a canopy covering the David and Nancy Steets-owned and operated Entertainment Under the Stars, a mobile music machine that pumped special sounds into the late afternoon’s sun-splashed air.
The event, which attracted people of all ages, was highlighted by a dunk tank, which offered a brief respite from the day’s warm temperature. For three hours, people enjoyed everything from vanilla bean ice cream in jumbo waffle cones to all-beef dogs, burgers, potato salad, watermelon and chips.
Although disappointed with the turnout, Chamber President Lauren Slocum said, “Everyone who is here is having lots and lots of fun. There were all kinds of stuff for children and adults; next year, this will be bigger, better and we’re going to hold it earlier in the summer.”